LAHORE - The Federal governments intention to increase allocation in education sector in the coming budget 2009-10 is intriguing. If the government increases allocation almost double than the last year of 2008-09, which was the record low of 1.25 per cent of the GDP, it is no increase because the allocation in the year 1996-97 was 2.62 and even in the year 2007-08 it was 2.49 per cent of the GDP. The government imposed almost fifty per cent cut on the percentage of allocation in education sector in the budget 2008-09 and thus the allocated amount of 1.25 per cent of the GDP was reduced to almost 0.75 per cent, the one-third of which also lapsed. In 1995-96, the allocation was 2 per cent and slightly above during the subsequent years till 1998-99 with a significant increase in 1996-97. During Gen (r) Musharrafs military regime it was reduced to 1.7 per cent and slightly above in later years till 2002-03 when the allocation increased to 2.2 in 2003-04 budget, which continued with little variation till 2007-08. The elected government again reduced it to 1.25 per cent of the GDP. The marginal increase in the past commensurated with the percentage of inflation while in actual terms there was no significant increase. This drastic reduction in allocation in the education sector resulted in deterioration of education particularly higher education which has no source of funding other than the Higher Education Commission (HEC) already undergoing recession. The more intriguing is the fact that HECs funds not only reduced but also lapsed due to the cumbersome procedures, which created uproar in public sector universities recently. Sources said that at least one-third of the allocated funds were lapsed while the rest half remained unspent. The cut in HEC grants put the students studying abroad on HEC scholarships in trouble while the domestic scho1arship schemes were also abolished. It remained no more a fund-giving agency. The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) in a recent meeting expressing strong concern over HECs performance maintained that HEC administrative functions could be performed well by the universities and their bodies like senate and syndicate themselves provided these are composed of representatives of teachers and stake-holders instead of selecting members from the chancellors and vice-chancellors lobbies. If the universities are empowered, the huge funds spent on administrative heads of the HEC could be diverted to research and academics of higher education. The HEC mainly works to grant funds to respective universities for development purposes. The universities send budget proposals to the HEC, which is never conceded in toto. The sanctioned amount is also not released in lump sum and delayed by various tactics. The expansion of funds is not sustainable and neither the projects and due to lack of sustainability, a number of projects are left half through, thus wasting precious time and energy. In some cases the cost increase and the finds become short.